Whether you’re a beauty novice or a confirmed fashionista, this topic is for consulting Mumsnetters on all things style-related. Plus, check out our Swears By page for the inside track on the next Mumsnet must-have.
I fit this demographic as well, plus have had a couple if years of crap health after an accident. I am really trying to make an effort for how I am NOW rather than how I'd like to be, but it's so hard to find clothes that aren't over-embellished, poor quality, handkerchief hems and dubious colours.
Place marking. Actually I think there's a huge gap in the market. I ordered a few bits from Simply Be but they just didn't look right on me. The other online options are pretty dire, and I usually need to try on anyway.
Simply Be, but VERY selectively - I have got some good work dresses and casual stuff from there. Boden in the sale/ebay. The odd piece from Monsoon. I try not to get clothes from exclusively "plus sized" ranges as they tend to the polyester tent end of the spectrum. I look at the reviews on Boden and check and see if a lot of porkers like the dress too, as the chances are that it will look OK on me then. Jeans from Old Navy in the US, or (shudder) Per Una - plain ones, not ones with sequins and shit on them. Some stuff from M & S or John Lewis. I have a great bandage skirt from Chesca from a few years ago but they have gone all confused these days and can't decide whether they are "mother of the bride" or "Lagenlook". I've got some good tops and skirts for work from Windsmoor and Planet in the sale too. Also a good top - good style - clings to boobs with a scoop neck and skims gut, from Mantaray. I got a nice dress in the sale from Studio 8 in Debenhams, but their stuff tends to be overwhelmingly polyester.
Some nice ideas on here. I have to cover my legs too, they are like mighty oak tree trunks, so lots of the flattering dresses are too short for me. I do like a nice pair of trousers with floaty top. Donkey Sainsburys is the only place I can find jeans that fit me, they are good quality and a bargain!
Hmm ... Am not fat, (though sometimes less skinny than my clothes) but several of the places I lean towards for clothes are generous in their sizing and would probably go up to an 18 or thereabouts if you choose the right thing. I'll come back to those.
However, years ago when an older relative suddenly put on a lot of weight through illness and drugs, I discovered Marina Rinaldi and was overjoyed. Not cheap. Kinda Max Mara-ish. (Can't recall if they were connected - probably not, just sold in the same sort of shops: Harvey Nichols etc.) The sizing went from 12 up to about 24 and they were proper clothes that fashionable people would want to wear. Then the brand disappeared. Then they reappeared about three years ago with a "Women are back" advertising campaign that garnered a fair bit of attention. Anyhow ...
I particularly like this from the new season. No. It's not cheap - but they have sales, same as anywhere else. Not all the dresses would be my own taste but some are beautiful. I'd say the whole site is worth a browse when you're prepared to spend more than on the high street.
Going back to the at a pinch places. Toast (much maligned but always reliable and amazing quality) sizing is generally about two sizes bigger than expected. Cos, the same. Acne Studios (for not fading into the background) has no whiff of "plus" sizing - but they clearly don't expect people to be thin. A size 16 (or 18 with patience) could dress extremely well there. Margaret Howell clothes are cut to float and skim while still looking sharp, so worth a look.
I can think of a few more places - but they're a bit niche and even more expensive outside sale times. But it comforts me to know that if, for whatever reason, I did become officially fat I would never be forced into a high street plus sized emporium but could beg, borrow or steal to maintain the sort of wardrobe I actually want to wear. (I am a little older than you btw OP.)
And, seriously, we should stop calling ourselves "old". I know it might feel like that if one wanders into a pregnancy thread - and I know the young shout loudest here - but honestly - I've seen old and it's not at all the same. I'm proudly middle aged and need years and years to prepare for what actual old age throws at one.
Def not Evans! Just can't get my head around their style... I got for Next. Selective M&S and Simply Be, am as size 20/22 and a short arse at 5'1 . There was a dress talked about on style and beauty and I was chuffed that it was one I wore.... For about a minute I felt all trendy and up to date! Mrs schadenfreude I have that dress too! And a similar grey one from Sainsburys. 😀
I've gained a bunch of weight since a back injury 2.5 years ago and am now a wobbly size 14, which is the fattest I've ever been.
It's taken me a while to get back into my groove and fashions have moved on a bit, too, in that time (and I've aged - almost 43). I find department stores best as I can try on bits from all different brands and look what flatters me and what items work together. It's hard learning to fit a whole new body shape, but there are flattering clothes around.
I have found, though, that I have to spend a bit more to look good. H&M type clothes just look scruffy on me these days. My most flattering purchases recently have all been from Gérard Darel and Comptoir des Cotonniers, which are brands I rarely looked at before.
I am a 20 / 22 24in some places depending on if I want a fit or a baggy look. I have recently got into the lagenlook style and have had some lovely floaty flattering and above all comfy dresses dirt cheap on e bay. They are a bit different to what everyone else is wearing. I team them up with big jewellry and feel good in them. this kinda thing
Thank you for Lagenlook. I had never heard of it, but they have some lovely things at suprisingly reasonable prices. The good thing is that they put 'the look' together for you and it seems easy to build a capsule wardrobe from it.
It's worth looking for Caroline Ann on eBay or Amazon if you like lagenlook. She's incredibly nice and reliable and will do some alterations (eg, sleeve length/hem length/turning a round neck into a V before dispatch.